Every match counts at 6A wrestling
Goddard has won three of the last four Class 6A wrestling titles, and the last two have been won largely because of dominating wrestlers in championship matches.
But if Goddard is going to beat three close contenders for a third straight championship, it's going to have to come from consolation-match points earned today at Intrust Bank Arena.
"It's whoever's consolation round shows up will win it," said Heights coach Mike Church, whose team is in second place. "It won't come down to state championships at all. It's who will go and get medals on the back and who won't."
Goddard leads the team standings with 114.5 points after Friday's matches, with Heights (101 points), Garden City (98.5) and Derby (81.5) close behind.
All four teams still have so many wrestlers competing that the team title could be up in the air until late in the day. Goddard has 10 of its 11 wrestlers still competing with four in the title matches, Derby has all 14 still wrestling and has two in the finals, Heights has all 13 still in it with three in the finals, and Garden City has its 11 alive, with three in the finals.
Derby nearly defeated Goddard with a strong consolation showing in 2008, but fell short by a few points. In 2009, Heights ended its chances at a title by struggling on the second day.
"We've got to come through the back door strong," Heights sophomore Uylesses Deshazer said.
"I told the kids that today hasn't been a failed mission," Derby coach Bill Ross said. "But if we don't come tomorrow, it might be.
"... The first two rounds will be crucial tomorrow because they put more kids in the semis than we did, so they won't wrestle as many as we will. If we can come out and score a bunch of points in those first two rounds, we'll be back in it."
And if that doesn't happen?
Ross shook his head.
"Otherwise we'll be watching them guys have the fun," he said.
Goddard junior Dalton Beard (189) had watched only two of his five teammates advance out of the semifinals and knew a win was key. He beat Wichita South's Cameron Brandon 6-3 in their semifinal.
"I think we have a chance to win the team title, so they needed me, they needed me," Beard said.
Heights got a big win with Hunter Jameson at 160 when he beat South's D.J. Collins in four overtimes.
Some of the today's key finals:
* At 103, Goddard's Kaleb Bonilla faces Garden City's Anthony Calderon.
* At 140, Goddard's Trey Houlden wrestles Derby's Bradley Little.
* At 145, Derby's Cody Shavlik faces Garden City's Joey Dozier.